Basic Religiouswear for the Male Muslim

The Islamic meaning of the word hijāb actually means “modesty.” Though only women wear the Hijabs, modesty is not a gendered concept. Both men and women have the responsibility to retain their modesty by preventing physical attraction from the opposite sex. Since men and women have different physical attributes that attract the opposite sex, there […]

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The Dairy Monopoly

A friend of mine visited this past weekend.  After the usual string of courtesies and kind words, he pulled from his bag a jar of Puck® Creamy cheese, the only gift I had ever asked for.  In his tongue, he pronounces it a lot like book creamy cheese. He bought in the Middle East Market  of […]

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Is Harem Haram?

We know Haram to be any act that is forbidden or off-limits as outlined by Allah, but where did it come from? This was my initial task: explore Haram– but while meandering through the etymology of “Haram”, I quickly found myself in the thick of texts detailing “Harem,” which were, (am I reading this correctly?) […]

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Saudi Arabia and Higher Education

Saudi Arabia is in an eon of transformation. In the last 50 years it has obliterated its previous rate of illiteracy down to near-zero. Education for women has also become a marked investment for the country, as demonstrated in the King Abdullah Scholarship program, the largest scholarship program in the history of Saudi Arabia,  that […]

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Hashing it out: a brief glance at the historical usage of the cannabis plant.

Today, Hashish is wildly popular in the Middle East, even in places where its criminalization calls for capital punishment, like in Saudi Arabia, whose government beheaded 2 pairs of hashish-smuggling brothers this summer. Usage hasn’t always been so monitored, and since its introduction 2 centuries after the death of the prophet Muhammad, it has been […]

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